How to Determine Your Target Market

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Identify your target market to establish a stable market foothold for your business

If you?re working on growing your business and strengthening your client base, your marketing strategy will play a central role in the direction and speed of that growth. A sound marketing plan can build recognition for your product or service, generate positive word of mouth, and create a strong foundation that can help you ride out the ups and downs of a challenging economic climate.

But if you don?t have a degree in marketing and you aren?t yet able to hire an in-house business development expert, where can you start? How can you take the first step toward establishing a stable market foothold? You?ll need to begin by identifying your target market, or the core audience likely to demonstrate interest in your product.

Determining Your Target Market: Why?

Why should you invest time, money, and research in isolating your core audience? Because every marketing effort that falls outside of that target group is not as likely to result in conversions, or actual product sales. Your ads, your website, your blog and your promotions may amuse your audience, and the general public may appreciate your wit and your willingness to stand behind your product, but if that appreciation doesn?t translate into sales, you won?t be making appropriate returns on your investments.

Polish your marketing efforts to a laser focus, and you?ll increase the efficiency of your business growth. This means directing all of your marketing messages to an imaginary person who represents your ideal customer, from your website design to the platforms your use to publish your ads and promotions.

Determining Your Target Market: How?

So, who is this imaginary person? To find out, conduct detailed research and don?t underestimate the value of intuition.

Carefully track and study the results of every marketing decision you make. If you change your website background from blue to red, track the changes in the number of clicks you receive, how long each visitor stayed, and how much he or she ultimately spent. Conduct a detailed after-the-fact analysis of every contest, ad, and promotion. Who responded? Men or women? Older people or younger? What kind of feedback do you receive after each change, new product launch, or campaign? Use this information to shape your efforts as you move forward. A professional digital marketing firm can help you gather and organize this data.

If you run a business on a tight budget, how do you track the results of your marketing efforts? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts and advice.